tv NBC Nightly News NBC July 6, 2010 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
on the broadcast tonight, hitting home, the demoralizing news from the gulf about where oil is turning up now. a plan to divert the birds from that region to keep them out of the oil. meltdown, a sweltering day, setting new records, and there's more to co. raising the temperature in the immigration debate. the united states is suing arizona. the queen makes a rare visit to the former colonies, a very dinner visit this time around. before there was oprah, there was this woman. she was known nationally. these days she's known for acting locally. "nightly news" begins now.
captions paid for by nbc-universal television good evening, we've reached another terrible milestone in this oil spill. the city of new orleans, which, of course, has finally battled back from katrina, could at least say they had no part in this oil trouble. the trouble was limited to the gulf waters. not any more. we learns there's oil in lake pontchartrain, that's north of new orleans. this oil has spread hundreds of miles to the north, east and west. lake pontchartrain is a big, beautiful neighbor of new orleans. it turned deadly when the waters drowned the city five years ago. now, is the latest victim of the spill, along with reports of tar balls on beaches in texas. we can also report tonight on a desperate effort to save the birds from the oil. we begin tonight with kerry sanders on the banks of lake pontchartrain, good evening. >> reporter: good evening,
brian. the fight tonight against the spreading oil, turns here, as state and local officials are asking for more boats, more skimmers, and permission for low flying helicopters, all in an attempt to stop this ever expanding disaster. >> they're tiny, but officials say they've pulled more than 1600 tar balls at the mouth of lake pontchartrain. this 630 square mile body of water, the second largest saltwater lake in the united states is now a new ground zero. these are the same waters that overtopped the levees and flooded new orleans during hurricane katrina. the oil gushing 125 miles away is today at new orleans' front door, the largest city in louisiana no longer protected. >> i guess i had my heart set that it wasn't going to happen here. >> reporter: coastal ecologists have been dreading this day, when the wind and the surf drives oil to the mouth of lake pontchartrain.
and now here it is. oil about to hit the lake, the city of new orleans was built on. at first glance, the oil now showing up here looks like small autumn leaves floating on the surface. but those are tar balls. oil that breached five different barriers, multiple booms, sand berms, even a makeshift wall of submerged barges. all defensive measures that have failed. a sucker punch to all the sweat and energy that was put in place to fight this oil. >> lake pontchartrain really is the reason new orleans was founded. it's the way the frerj wench we brought in by the native americans. >> reporter: bobby jindal took a helicopter tour over lake pontchartrain. >> we need the government to fight this oil before it gets into our estuaries and fragile
ecosystems. >> one of the last areas of fishing has had a hiatus put on it. >> reporter: more tar balls washed up for a second day in texas. >> i want to assure texans that we're taking aggressive steps to address this situation and mitigate any damage to our beaches. >> reporter: 40 square miles of lake pontchartrain has been closed to fishing. the fear is the high wind and surf as part of this normal summer weather pattern, which means there will be more oil in the lake. brian? >> just another terrible development. kerry sanders on the banks of lake pontchartrain tonight. thanks. now to another part of this crisis, the wildlife caught in the oil, especially the birds, and a huge fear that this migration season, the gulf could become a death trap as millions of birds make their way south.
some extraordinary steps are being taken right now to save them. our report on that tonight from nbc's ron mott. >> reporter: in southern louisiana, an egret has landed and should soon start seeing a lot more company, as flocks of birds begin making their journey south, many could fly into trouble, as thousands of brown pelicans and other species already have. which is why farmer grant gillery is flooding his fields, 60 miles inland from the gulf. he's being paid by the government to attract migrating birds, the goal to keep them from oily waters. >> the incentive seals the deal. >> reporter: so far, 1,400 landowners have signed up to turn their land over to bird
sanctuaries. this flood zone stretches across eight states, states in the flight path of 50 million birds that head to latin america or the caribbean for the winter. they hope to fill 150,000 acres of land with water. >> what we're attempting to do with these agricultural habitats is emulate the wetlands they stay on. >> reporter: will it work? no one really knows. bird rescue centers could have their hands full over the fall. in some places, containment booms are the last line of defense guarding these safe havens. today nearly a thousand birds across the gulf region have been scrubbed of oil. >> there's no end in sight right now. as the seasons change, there's going to be different challenges as birds move in and out of the area. >> reporter: a movement to prevent one disaster from flooding into another.
ron mott, nbc news, pensacola. now we turn to the weather. record heat today in the northeast part of the country where temperatures hit records for this day in 26 separate cities, including philly, a painful 102, newark 103, providence talked off at 100. here in new york, a positively withering 103 degrees. that's where we find ron allen. he has the good fortune to be outdoors in it tonight. >> reporter: this is one of the places to be, one of new york city's swimming pools, it's packed to the gills. it's been that way all day. there's still a line of people waiting to get in here. it's late in the evening, the sun is going down, but it's absolutely sweltering out here. >> temperatures soaring over 100 degrees. >> reporter: from baltimore to boston, it's the kind of heat that's overwhelming. >> sticky, muggy and incredibly
hot. >> the humidity is up between 30 and 40 percent, and that's pushed the heat index to 107 and higher. >> reporter: record heat in philadelphia prompted the city to close playgrounds. just imagine working outdoors. >> when you're in the sun, it's stifling. it's just draining. >> reporter: throughout the east, a heat wave of historic proportions. with weather advisories in some areas warning of potentially dangerous conditions. even president obama warned the press. >> stay cool out there. hydrate. >> reporter: water was the order of the day at this soccer camp in new york city, where the kids hit the fields, but for a shortened practice. >> we don't want the kids to get overheated in this type of weather. >> reporter: new york's power company braced for possible blackouts, and predicts demand will surge to its highest levels ever. so far, only scattered outages reported in the heat zone. in washington, d.c., this
emergency medical team takes proactive approach, trying to check on people who have called 911 in the past. mary is 71, she uses a fan to keep cool. they check her vital signs, leave water and move on down their list of 300 people. >> we have the flexibility of going house to house and meeting people where they are and giving them what they need. >> reporter: what everyone needs is relief, that cannot come too soon. they're getting some relief here, and we may have to dive in before we call it a day. in the heat zone, cities are opening public buildings to offer places for people to cool off a bit. they're keeping swimming pools like this one open as late as they possibly can. >> ron, just put the mike down before you do. we want to get a word on this from jim cantore. we get that this is summer, but at the same time, it's sudden
and severe. >> reporter: it is. we may have a lot more before all is said and done, brian. one of the things we found in chicago in '95 with that deadly heat wave are the overnight lows. when they stay in the 0s, that's a signature of a catastrophic heat wave. we're going to see relief from all of this. this area of low pressure is working from the west. it's going to reposition the heat in the south and allow moisture to come on shore in the form of showers and thunderstorms. it won't kill it all together. you'll notice new york down to 96 degrees tomorrow. it will feel worse when you factor in the humidity. but a chance for cooling showers by the time we roll into thursday. early start to this heat season, brian. and it's a long way to go. >> hard to believe the south has been cooler this week. it's a long way to go for them as well. shifting gears now to a devicive political topic, especially in the southwest. the united states today sued the state of arizona.
it's about the controversial new immigration law they passed, which is supposed to take effect later this month. pete williams is at the justice department tonight. >> reporter: the caption on this lawsuit says it all, u.s. versus arizona. the judge is being asked by the federal government to block this new law before it takes effect july 29th. the justice department's lawsuit targets a brand new arizona law, requiring police to arrest and detain anyone suspected of being in the state illegally. president obama, attorney general holder and secretary of state clinton have been criticizing it for months, the lawsuit comes just three weeks before it takes effect. a sponsor of the law condemns the suit as caving to pressure from mexico. >> we have an administration that ignores this country while they pander to president calderone and ignore their responsibility.
>> reporter: justice department lawyers argue in their lawsuit that a state may not establish its own immigration policy that interferes with nationwide rules. it says arizona's approach will divert federal attention away from illegal immigrants who threaten public safety or national security. the constitution and federal laws the government says do not prevent the development of a patchwork of state and local immigration policies. what's more, says an immigration lawyer and former federal prosecutor, aggressive state enforcement will swamp an already overwhelmed federal system. >> there aren't enough handcuffs in airplanes and beds to house these individuals that arizona state police are going to collect. >> reporter: under the new law, arizona police making arrests or traffic stops are required to check the immigration status of anyone they suspect is in the country illegally. those arrested cannot be released until police verify their immigration status by checking with federal authorities. arizona police insist they are ready for the new
responsibility. just last week the state sent this training video to every police department. the video repeatedly says a person's race cannot be considered. >> offices can be assured that nothing about the new law makes racial profiling in anyway acceptable. >> reporter: the justice department argues that arizona new law is too blunt an instrument for enforcing immigration law, which the government says considering humanitarian and foreign policy interests too. >> pete williams at the justice department tonight, thanks. we have an update this evening on the war in afghanistan. it's only the 6th of july, and already 10 u.s. service members have been killed there this month so far. the latest casualties, five american sold kwler iers killed yesterday by roadside bombs in various parts of that country. at the white house today a very deliberate show of warmth and friendship between president
obama and israel's prime minister netanyahu. both say forget all those recent reports of months of tension. there's no rest between the u.s. and israel, although you may recall the last time the two men met at the white house. the relationship then was so tense, cameras were not allowed. when our broadcast continues in just a moment, the royal treatment, queen elizabeth and a whirlwind trip to new york. with a message to the world. at ge capital, we've been financing taylor guitars for over eight years, helping them build a strong dealer network. bringing music to people... i like that. ♪ ♪ [ bob ] i didn't know you could play. i didn't either. ♪
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queen and her husband the duke of edinburgh did not stay long. their brief trip lasted just under five hours. the first stop was here at the united nations where secretary-general ban ki-moon met her. she arrived to a standing room only crowd in the general assembly hall. >> it has perhaps always been the case that the waging of piece is the hardest form of leadership of all. >> reporter: it wasn't the queen's first visit there, she gave her first speech at the young age of 31 in 1957. during her return trip to new york in 1976, she was given a tour of the hudson river. the twin towers standing in the background. today she visited the site where the towers fell and placed a wreath.
the queen opened the british garden of remembrance, a memorial to the 67 british citizens that were killed on 9/11. >> thank you, stephanie. when we come back, there's less mail these days, now it's going to cost more money, if you can follow that reasoning. a completely blocked artery, another heart attack could be lurking, waiting to strike. a heart attack that's caused by a clot, one that could be fatal. but plavix helps save lives. plavix, taken with other heart medicines, goes beyond what other heart medicines do alone, to provide greater protection against heart attack or stroke and even death by helping to keep blood platelets from sticking together and forming dangerous clots. ask your doctor if plavix is right for you. protection that helps save lives. [ female announcer ] certain genetic factors and some medicines, such as prilosec, reduce the effect of plavix leaving you at greater risk for heart attack and stroke. your doctor may use genetic tests to determine treatment.
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senator robert byrd was laid to rest today in suburban washington, beside his wife of 68 years, erma. the military honor guard carried the casket from the memorial service. then at grave side, a 21-gun salute. senator byrd died last week at the age of 92. the cost of a stamp will go up to 46 cents in january. that will be the seventh hike in prices in the last ten years. the post office is facing a $700 billion budget deficit. at a time when mail delivery is falling due to e maim. news about a former child star whose life has become something of a public spec tackle train wreck. late today she was sentenced to
90 days in jail for violating probation on a 2007 dui charge. the judge ordered her to start her jail sentence in two weeks time. a new study is raising question whether divorce can spread through families and friends like a virus. researchers at brown university found that couples who experienced a divorce among immediate family, close friends or co-workers were 75% more likely to break up themselves. the researchers have a term for this, it's called divorce clustering. they say it's related to people questioning their own relationship when those close to them split up. you may want to stay close to this next woman and find out how this is done. joan ginther has won the lottery four times for a total take of
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she was born all 5'1" of her, rona burstein. she transformed herself into rona barrett. she was the one-time queen of gossip news in this country. she was blessed with energy, 30 years ago "the new york times" called her as jittery as a jackrabbit. here we are, and miss rona is using that energy and paying tribute to her own father by making a difference in the lives of seniors.
her story tonight from janet shamlian. >> reporter: from mornings on "today," to prime time and beyond. carving a career out up close and personal. rona barrett has met them all. jerry lewis. >> everybody is a man in trouble. >> reporter: sylvester stallone. >> were you really unhappy with the person you had become. >> reporter: robert redford. >> and now you are really gaining recognition as a director. >> reporter: in a culture swimming with celebrities, she was the first. >> good evening, everyone. >> reporter: the former queen of gossip is still asking questions, about as far from tinseltown as you can get. >> what did you do in nashville. >> reporter: her visits to senior centers are always a hit. it's her behind the scenes work they appreciate the most. motivated by her father, and the heart wrenching day when he no longer knew her name.
>> how did that make you feel? >> i was devastated. i was totally devastated. i started crying, and i couldn't believe it. >> reporter: it was then, barrett says, she found a new calling. from her home in california's santa ynez valley, she's a lifeline to a growing number of seniors across the country. >> who's talking for all of these older generation people now. who's talking for these seniors in need? those who have no one? >> at 73 and back in the spotlight, her one-woman show funds senior charities. >> do you ever think in moments of fatigue or whatever, wow, i've earned the right to do nothing if i wanted to? >> you bet. >> reporter: why am i putting myself out there? >> you bet. but if it weren't me, who would it be? >> reporter: the queen of gossip now facing her biggest challenge yet. >> thank you for making us feel good. >> hey, you know what? >> what?